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Few teams experienced as much change on the defensive side of the ball as the Baltimore Ravens. Gone are outside linebacker Paul Kruger, safety Ed Reed, cornerback Cary Williams and inside linebackers Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe.
The good news for the Ravens is that the replacement pieces have been looking very good. Rookie safety Matt Elam is picking the defense up quickly in Baltimore, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun. The other rookie the Ravens drafted early, linebacker Arthur Brown, was participating in OTA drills after concerns arose that he wouldn't be healthy until training camp.
At outside linebacker, free-agent Elvis Dumervil is quickly emerging as a defensive leader, per Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times. However, the best news for the Ravens defense is the improvement of third-year cornerback Jimmy Smith.
According to Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun, Smith is in better shape and studying the game more. If Smith can reach his full potential, the Ravens will have one of the best cornerback duos with Smith and Lardarius Webb.
While Baltimore did experience quite a bit of loss on defense, it appears that it might be better in 2013 than it was in 2012.